THE ASSOCIATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Elizabeth Cohill founded The Association for Senior Citizens 20 years ago at 22 years of age and continues to serve as its Executive Director. The goal of the organization is to promote the self-sufficiency of all senior citizens and to ensure that no senior in the Denver Metro area goes without the necessities of life including food, shelter and public services. She is committed to the elderly and has obtained the support of contributors such as the Denver Broncos/NFL Quarterback Award and the Bronco Wives’ Food Committee. These relationships help the Association to continue to have volunteers and the financial means necessary to serve the elderly of Metro Denver. In addition to founding The Association for Senior Citizens, Cohill established the Tibetan Blues Bash and the Northwest Council for Seniors.
During the year 2000, more than 250 seniors from Denver needed emergency assistance. This money was needed to pay rent, utilities, phone, medical bills and other necessities. The seniors reciprocate by volunteering time or repayment of their loans in small amounts. The Association for Senior Citizens, along with the Northwest Council for Seniors, prevented more than 150 seniors from becoming homeless, kept utilities connected for more than 80 seniors, and loaned approximately 50 wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, bed pads and tub benches. Many of the seniors need more than one service and are able to receive what is necessary.
In addition, the association provides nutrition for seniors. For two hours every Wednesday, approximately 170 seniors receive packages of food from the food bank. When the seniors come to the food bank, they receive prepared bags of groceries and are able to choose their own breads and vegetables in a country market setting. Last year they gave out 8,609 bags and provided more than 3,000 Meals on Wheels. Commodities are distributed every third Thursday to about 80 seniors, and last year they totaled 962.
The association’s Winona Court residence rents rooms at reasonable rates to seven seniors and provides a live-in manager who cooks the evening meal and serves it family style. During their dinners the residents exchange ideas and information on needed services to help one another. Winona Court is able to serve seven seniors; however, the association has a Volunteer Services Coordinator, also. They provide more than 100 seniors a friendly home visit at least once a week. Last year the volunteers donated more than 3,700 hours of “house-calls.” Finally, the association started Operation Warm-Up, a program that provides warm clothing for seniors at a time when utilities have increased an average of 40 percent.
Cohill volunteered at the Colorado Christian Homoe from October 2000 to January 2002 for 15 hours per week. Cindy McKinney, Volunteer Coordiantor, stated that: “She was a dedicated volunteer that brought hope and joy to a child.” Cohill was also a Denver Partner for five years working with at risk children.